6 years, 10 months ago

Assessing Business Architecture’s Impact

Link: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheBusinessArchitect/~3/DAxOV8QOnF8/

DashboardI have been working on a business architecture practice dashboard to help BA leaders manage and grow their practice. It is still a work in progress but I wanted to share my thinking here to see if it resonated with others. The dashboard is made up of three types of metrics: impact, value, and activity. Some might want to add a fourth category for business architecture practice maturity but I haven’t given that much thought as there seem to be a variety of models available. In this post, I focus on impact measures.



Business architecture impact metrics report the overall impact the business architecture initiative is having across the organization. These measures will typically be the slowest to change but are the best indicators of business architecture’s overall success. They fundamentally look at the degree to which business architecture is being woven into the fabric of the organization to become an everyday utility. The four metrics I have defined so far are:

 Breadth of engagement. This metric measures business architecture’s organizational reach. It looks at the total number of lines of business, support organizations such as IT, Finance, and HR, and major business units like call centers engaged with business architecture. These are typically the CEO direct reports plus or minus a few. In complex organizations with many lines of businesses, business architects might define organizational reach at a lower level. The idea here is to assess engagement in the broadest sense.

Depth of engagement. Depth of engagement measures business architecture’s intra-business unit engagement in the business units where business architecture is engaged as identified in the breadth of engagement measure. It fundamentally measures engagement with the entire management team, from executives to frontline managers. Working with executive leaders at the top of the organization can be the most interesting work but it is ensuring that executive intent is accurately and completely translated through the organization that often creates the most value.

Strategic engagement. Strategic engagement measures the level of strategic work performed in the business units where business architecture is engaged as identified in the breadth of engagement measure. Alternatively, this could measure the level of strategic work performed in the entire set of targeted organizations. This would be a much more conservative measure but makes sense for mature business architecture functions that are close to impacting all of their organizational targets. This measure looks at the spectrum of business architecture work performed to assess to what degree the work is truly strategic.

Process integration. This metric measures the level of integration with other planning related functions such as Corporate Strategy, Project Management Office, Enterprise Architecture, BPM Office, Risk Management, department-planning functions, etc. Tightly integrating with these functions ensures business architecture’s work with business leaders produces the maximum impact.

The bottom line:______________________________________________________________________

Measuring business architecture success is difficult at best. No one measure or even category of measures will tell the complete story. While other metrics are important, impact metrics provide a picture of organizational engagement that seems the most indicative of success. Some will argue that value measures are the better measure but they are narrower than engagement. Business architects can create big impact by working with a small segment of the organization and can even create value that creates resistance to business architecture. However, business architects can only broadly engage the organization if value is being created and recognized.

Tagged: Business Architecture, Business Architecture Practice, Metrics